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    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009 edited
     
    Need some help!

    I'm working off of 30-yr old maps that used a particular style for indicating mountains: simple ridgelines. I'm really struggling with the best approach to putting mountains on the map. These are close up maps where hex = 9 miles. So there are LOTS of mountains on some of the maps (there are 70 8.5x11 "tiles" that make up the whole "world"). On one map, I am ending up with 200+ mountain symbols (which slows the rendering to an abysmal crawl - sometimes crashing the app).

    Plus, lots of forested area. I cannot figure out the best approach to placing forest area. ESPECIALLY forests that surround mountain areas. It doesn't look quite right.

    I've created the maps in CorelDraw as simple "google-style" drawings. I'm attaching a crop of one of the maps where there are lots of ridgelines. The white areas are "alpine" snow covered peaks. There are ravines/canyons at the bottom of the cropped area. I can't find good canyon symbols to represent that either.

    How would you guys approach recreating this map in CC3? I'm all ears!
      C4-Crop.jpg
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009
     
    You could use color fills or bitmap fills to show the mountain area, then just symbols to show the ridge and snow covered areas.

    Same with the forests. Draw a polygon of a green color, and then place a few tree symbols to show the tree type for that area.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2009
     
    I just picked up the 2008 annual. The middle earth style mapping should work well for this (I think). The default CC3 styles are a bit heavy for what we're after.

    Still - any and all ideas on solving this large problem are welcome!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRalf
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
     
    I'd create a new style for this, since it'd pretty different from all existing styles. Do you have the Annual 2007? That contains a guide on how to create your own styles. If not, here are some basics:

    - in CC3/System/Drawtools/ copy an existing overland style folder and rename it to your new style
    - start a map from the matching style and in File > Drawing Properties change the style to the new one.
    - Go through the sheets one by one and either delete them if you don't need them for your style, or adjust the relevant drawing tools (Advanced button) to create the entities (rivers, ridge lines, etc.) you need. don't hesitate to experiment and create lots of new tools.
    - Add new sheets where you need them.
    - Adjust/add sheet effects. Edge Fade, and Edge Fade Inner would work well for your canyon and alpine areas respectively.
    - I'd do forests as dark green polys on a sheet with a transparency sheet effect (say 50% or so).
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2009
     
    If I could keep CC3 running for more than about an hour, I'd try that. Unfortunately, it crashes pretty consistently after a while (i.e. just about every single time I use it). I suspect a memory leak or something. I'm running on a brand new Win7 64bit machine with 1GB dedicated HD video, and 6GB ram, etc. etc., new drivers, and so on. Everything else runs lightning quick and apps have no issues.

    I'm requesting a refund as I've burned about a week of days wrestling with numerous installs/uninstalls/crashes, etc. :(

    I can create basic maps with CorelDraw and Photoshop. I was just hoping CC3 and DD3 would be perfect and quicker. But the issues prevent any real success other than anything I can create very quickly.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRalf
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2009
     
    I'm sorry to hear that you have such problems. Have you installed the latest Update 8? It took care of problems people experienced under Vista and Windows 7. If you did, please contact or tech support and we'll be happy to help you out as well as we can.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2009
     
    I've been working with Linda. I did install the update 8. I've uninstalled and reinstalled more times than I can remember now with and without "run as administrator". I guess I'm frustrated. I need software to make my work and projects easier! ;)

    I also have some of the symbol catalogs that are missing images (regardless of how I install). I suspect there are missing links or something. Linda has mentioned that they can fix those. I need to get her the names of the catalogs.

    Maybe I'll give this one last shot - but that will put me past the 14 day guarantee... ugh!
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009
     
    Okay - so I was able to work up a first draft (CC3 anyway) of one of the maps. I had to hand draw the ravines, convert them to PNG, then place as symbols... which turned out to be a good exercise and learning experience.

    Here's the overall map (hex = 9 miles). Every symbol and ridge line has an impact on the players' movement in-game.

    Lots of detail. I need to go back in and add the locales, roads, regional naming, etc. I'll just do that in Photoshop.

    Any tips or constructive feedback is welcome. I'm learning a lot as I go!
      Timnath C4 sample.jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009
     
    Here's a closeup crop...
      C4 Crop.jpg
  1.  
    I don't really have constructive feedback, but this map is fantastic.
    The only thing that looks odd is the change of river color. Is that intentionnal or are the darker ones part of the (great) hand draw thing ?
    If that the case, you should be able to cover the dark one with a spline on the river sheet and a lot of clicks...
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009 edited
     
    Dark water is down in canyons. Looks okay to me.

    Fantastic maps !
    • CommentAuthorsdavies2720
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009 edited
     
    I like this map a lot. I've found that intermediate-scale maps are some of the most challenging. I think it's because these maps are complex on so many levels. The decision what to include and leave out is more complex (you leave things out both because they're too detailed and because they're too large-scale). These maps tend to be used for multiple things (where are we, where's the barony boundary, is there a village nearby, where's the dragon's lair?). And the representation/realism problem is more accute.

    I think you've done a good job.

    Some (idiosyncratic) comments:
    * The mountains look a little too random. Typically (but not always) mountains run in ridges and lines - - here I don't get a sense of their structure. On a more practical level, it's tough to understand where passes might be (which is probably something you'd want to be able to tell from the map)
    * Stylistically, and especially on this scale of map, I want the Mountain symbols a little bigger -- through most of history they were significant barriers, and I think they should loom bigger. I'd also try (not sure about this) making the tree symbols smaller, or go to a texture. There's not a lot of information in the forest parts of hte map, so I'd make them less prominent.
    * I love the cliffs (where are those symbols from, I don't remember them). I'd like the bottom of the canyons to be slightly different -- have a mild texture to it, or slightly different color. What I really want is for the river-side of the cliff faces to blend a little more. Right now they look a bit like they were plopped in.
    * The paths of the rivers are a little unusual--not impossible, but unusual. I'm mainly looking at the right-hand river that apparently loops around the full mountain range, while one interior river flows to the upper right and one next to it flows to the lower left. It's possible, but implies that there is no overall tilt to the land.

    I look forward to more show and tell. This map is outstanding.

    Steve
    • CommentAuthorjaerdaph
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009
     
    I'm glad you stuck with it kewlpack because that's a great map!
    • CommentAuthorJoeyD473
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009
     
    How did you do the canyons?
    • CommentAuthorjaerdaph
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009
     
    I believe kewlpack drew the cliffs/ravines himself and converted them into PNG symbols - they are very nice!
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009 edited
     
    Thanks for all the feedback guys. Yes, I drew the canyons by hand in photoshop (using the mouse - don't have a stylus anymore). Just freehand stuff.

    The two colors for water are: light blue = slow/shallow water, dark blue = fast/deep water.

    I appreciate the input a lot. The one thing you should bear in mind - these maps were drawn by my friends about 30 years ago. They had no sense of actual geologic reality... thus the fairly random feel to things. In the pencil version of the maps, every ridge line has a direct impact on what can or cannot move through the hex (or it takes a full day to "cross" the ridge).

    Also... the campaign world is FLAT as a pancake. Not spherical. The mountains are the only real major landscape other than the foothills and ravines. So things are a little "different" than a traditional spherically based map.

    That's been the biggest challenge of the whole thing: how to represent those ridgelines in a new style and have the same movement restrictions. I'm not sure I've hit the right balance yet. I agree on the forest texture size. I just used symbol clusters for this version. It should be simple enough to utilize a texture - but I do want a dimensional feel to the forest areas.

    Map of the month??? Ummm... sure! ;) I need to finish it up.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2009
     
    Ooops! I managed to delete, deactivate, or misplace the map border/constraint that kept everything in a nice, neat rectangle. How can I either create a new one or reactivate the normal one?
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2009
     
    Simple. Just draw a bounding rectangle on the "MAP BORDER" layer. The tools uses the entities on this layer to determine where to stop.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2009
     
    Hmmm... I picked the filled rectangle, set to hollow, put it on the Map Border layer and sheet... no dice. It's not masking the outer edge. Maybe I'm missing something else?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRalf
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2009
     
    The rectangle just limits drawing tools (like rivers, terrain areas, etc). to the edge. It does not mask anything. But you can do the following:
    - Draw a second rectangle further out, so that it is encompasses everything you have drawn.
    - Set the drawing properties to Color White, Fill Style Solid, Layer MAP BORDER
    - Be sure to be on the topmost (lowest in the list) sheet in your list
    - Do Multipoly on the two rectangles.
    The resulting multipoly should be covering everything beyond your border.

    Hope that helps.
  2.  
    Sorry, the rectangle you made will only stop further drawing tools (and nothing else, it won't stop symbols, or entities drawn with usual button like line, polygon...), not the previous.
    To hide the edges, especially if you have sheet effects showing through, I genereally use white filled polygons. Another option is the decorative border.
    Edit: Arghh Ralf, you got me here!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRalf
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2009
     
    Actually, I should probably say how I normally set up masking polygons on new templates:

    - They get their on sheet and layer, so that they don't mess up the map border: Both are called SCREEN. The SCREEN SHEET goes below the MAP BORDER sheet in the sheet order.
    - Properties are Color White (15) and Fill Style "Solid".
    - I then draw one polygon around the map border, clicking points as shown below. This keep the object count low, and I don't have to worry about multipolies.
      screen.jpg
    • CommentAuthorGandwarf
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2009
     
    Very nice map! The ridges are beautiful.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2009
     
    Thanks gang. I'll fix this up and finish the map over the weekend.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2009 edited
     
    Okay - after reviewing the first version of the map with my friends (the original creators of the pencil versions), and your input above, I've reworked the map. The mountain areas are actually forested for the most part - so the mountains are colored differently to represent that.

    The area is known as the "Sylvanian Forest" and almost everything is covered in something green. Other areas of the world will have more common mountain-ish coloration. The yellow path is an old "hidden" elven path. On the top left is a dwarven red-brick road.

    Here we go...
      Timnath C4 v2.JPG
    • CommentAuthorjaerdaph
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2009
     
    Wow - even better! :)

    So glad you stuck with CC3! I know I could learn a lot from you.
  3.  
    Very nice map. It's both visually interesting and easy to interpret. Nicely done.
    Steve
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2009 edited
     
    A few more tweaks: hand drawn farmland symbol because I couldn't find a good one I liked, and used some structure icons instead of the stark b/w icons. I think this one is about done!
      Timnath C4 (12.15.2009).jpg
      Timnath C4 crop.jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2009
     
    I'm trying to fix one issue with the map... there are soooooo many forest symbols on it that redrawing when zoomed in takes FOREVER! I see there is a "Default Terrain" tool that will let me draw areas and populate them with random forest. I need to adjust the size of the forest symbols though... they are a bit too big right now. How can i resize the texture/bitmap/symbols that the Default Terrain tool draws?

    Thanks gang!
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2009
     
    If you are using the forest drawing terrain tool that uses actual tree symbol as it's fill, you need to change the default symbol scale of your map (File -> Drawing Properties)
    For bitmap fills, you need to edit the scale of the fill style the tool uses. Just click on the fill style indicator in the top statusbar, bitmap files tab, find the fill yuo wish to change, then make sure the checkbox for scaled is checked, an enter appropriate dimensions. If you wish to also use the original scale in your map, you can just make a copy of the existing style in a new name, then make a copy of the drawing tool that used this style, and change the fill your new drawing tool uses to your new scaled fill.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2009
     
    Decided on going with a simple checkerboard style farmland texture. Also added a slight highlight to key points of interest on the map. The gang is happy with it so I think this is the approach for the next... 69 maps (ergh!).

    Thanks to everyone for the assistance and tips.
      Timnath C4 (web).jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2009
     
    Here's the next map - just to the east. Now that I have a pattern, this should be pretty quick!
      Timnath C5 v1.jpg
    • CommentAuthorGandwarf
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2009 edited
     
    Still very pretty... getting better even. Glad you decided to change the farmland, this texture is far superior in my opinion. Nice maps as well. Lots of adventure to be had!
    What are the big white trees supposed to represent?

    Edit: looking at the first map, those are Sylvan trees I guess.
    • CommentAuthorHenrie61
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2009
     
    Really like this style.
    Maps not too crowded. Like Gandwarf said, great opportunities for adventures.

    Curious what the white area in the 2nd map is.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 22nd 2009 edited
     
    Here's the latest version of C5. The white area used to be completely forested but has been mowed down by countless battles. The white trees are GIANT trees. The Great Sylvan Tree on C4 is essentially an elven city within a great tree (in fact, not too different than the big "home tree" in the new Avatar movie).

    This is an area of the world that has literally been played for about 30 years by a core group of about 6 of us and around 20 other players over the years. Lots of wars and changes of regional powers. I dropped out for many years, so I'm learning the middle and latter history of the campaign world myself. There are boxes and boxes of maps, documents, pcs, npcs, historical writings, unique/intelligent magic items, regional economic laws, etc., etc. It's amazing how much work has gone into things.

    Since D&D 4E came out, I started running a small campaign of my own, and the Tim behind "Timnath" asked me if I'd be willing to convert this treasure trove to digital media so it will last (the paper content is aging rapidly). In addition he suggested that I take the game master duties for a while and infuse some new energy and ideas into the world. Cool honor to put my fingerprints on things.

    Here's the final versions of C4 and C5 (unless they tweak something else!!).

    Again - thanks for the help.
      Timnath C4 Final (12.25.2009).jpg
      Timnath C5 Final (12.25.2009).jpg
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2009
     
    Sounds like you need a web site to track all of that !
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2009
     
    Oh yeah. We have a forum where we're going through the map iterations as well as the digital conversion of all the other stuff (albeit very slowly).

    Another friend (also a programmer/developer like myself) is going to stitch everything together as I get it built so it's fully navigable. Probably through imagemaps or similar linking system.

    I was pondering how useful it would be to gamers if we built a "world builder" sort of site where you could manage all of the content for RPG pencil/paper gaming... maps, npcs, pcs, notes, dungeons, etc. etc.

    Would there really be a niche need for such a place? Hmmm.
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2009 edited
     
    mine is one sort... Working on it slowly as I am the only one who knows where everything goes. Over 1,600 maps, several adventures, house rules, NPCs, cities, towns, lots of other stuff. Crestar

    If you ned lots of room, and it sounds like you do, I suggest http://www.cwahi.net/ No domains yet, but they do have unlimited bandwidth and unlimited site sizes. yes, truly unlimited. I have a number of sites there. They do have a 21 pixel text banner at the top. Server served when the page is looked at, nothing in your code. I am there as a volunteer. Free to sign up, free to use. I am one of the Beta testers.

    edit: I love using a blog, as it lets me tie nations and cities together, along with adventures within that nation. Certainly easier than thousands of html pages, which is why I am moving Crestar from html to a blog.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2011
     
    I am finally coming back around to this after a LONG hiatus. I tried working with CC3 to establish a map that the campaign progenitors really liked. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get CC3 to get there. CC3/DD3 still crash way too often so I lose work even though I accept the auto save when it pops up (and I save manually quite often).

    So... I've been an avid Photoshop user since '95. I figured I would fall back on what I knew best, and went for a low earth orbit satellite style. I drew them by hand with my Wacom tablet and layered in textures for mountains and such. Here are a couple of the final maps. I still have about 67 to draw. They take about five to six hours to pound out, which isn't too bad.

    Also, I've been dabbling in the DD3 and tried using it as a base for some dungeon mapping, but again, found myself leveraging the symbol art and textures (including SMAC's stuff) and just building the thing in layers in Photoshop... It's just so much faster for me, and the results are great (IMHO).

    Anyway - a few maps for ya (all Photoshop using CC3/DD3/SMAC where I could).
    KP
      C5.jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2011
     
    Another.
      B5.jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2011
     
    Dungeon Overall
      ToM L2.jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2011
     
    Closeup 1
      ToM L2 closeup 1.jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2011
     
    Closeup 2
      ToM L2 closeup 2.jpg
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2011
     
    Oh yeah... I'll be using the various Keeps and Castles on the overland maps to more accurately represent the locales and points of interest. Forgot to go back in and do that!
    • CommentAuthorBidmaron
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2011
     
    I like your non-photoshop overland maps better. Just my opinion, of course. The dungeon maps are way kewl, kewlpack.
    • CommentAuthorkewlpack
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2011 edited
     
    I liked them too, but the "founders" of the campaign didn't. They needed more specific information than I could provide in the CC3 maps. Primarily around ridgelines that denoted impasses. It has to do with war-level strategy.